IHC’s Accessible Properties to take over Housing New Zealand homes in Tauranga

IHC New Zealand is delighted that the contract has been signed with the Government confirming that Accessible Properties will acquire and manage 1140 more homes in Tauranga.

Accessible Properties is a wholly owned subsidiary of IHC New Zealand and has been building up its social housing portfolio alongside continuing to manage properties owned by IHC (which are tenanted by IDEA Services or directly to people with intellectual disabilities).

“This is a significant development for the wider IHC group as well as for Accessible Properties,” says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. “The deal means we do more of one of the many things we are good at – providing quality housing and services to people in need. 

“It also means a more diverse business and an even stronger IHC focused on advocating for and supporting people with intellectual disabilities for many decades to come,” says Ralph.

The 1140 homes in Tauranga are currently with Housing New Zealand and will transfer on 1 April 2017. Accessible Properties will continue to work in close partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand.

Accessible Properties’ General Manager Andrew Wilson says the Registered Community Housing Provider is committed to tenants and is determined to provide a great service.

“We are looking forward to meeting our tenants, to let them know more about us and most importantly to seek their views on what we can improve upon before we formalise any plans of our own. I will say that we are keen to make some changes.

“In addition to the improvements and maintenance we also want to grow the number of homes we provide in Tauranga and to make sure they are the right size to meet the needs of current and future tenants. We plan to provide at least another 150 homes in the city.

“The properties have been assessed as being at a very good standard – we’ll maintain this and if anything make improvements. We are also committed to introducing some new safety features to homes.

“Our tenancy managers will act as community connectors for those who would like to access more social or community support services or iwi links,” says Andrew.

“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Tauranga Moana Iwi and have always worked with a range of agencies to help our tenants get any wider support that they need.”

Accessible Properties will ensure a smooth transfer for tenants, making sure each person has all the information they need.

“I want to assure tenants that although their landlord will change, people can remain in their homes for as long as they are eligible and their rent will not change as a result of this transfer,” says Andrew.

“Because Accessible Properties is a Registered Community Housing Provider, tenants will still be eligible for the Government’s income-related rent or other benefits – as they are now.

“We have been providing housing for more than 60 years and in Tauranga for more than 50. We have led the way in achieving community integration with social housing. We are looking forward to opening our new Bay of Plenty office and bringing more people the service our current tenants enjoy.

“We know what a difference good housing makes, and with the properties we already own we are proud to be able to make a difference.

Accessible Properties is also a New Zealand-based registered charity. It already manages more than 1600 properties, including 500 in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty. You can read more about Accessible Properties here: www.accessibleproperties.co.nz